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Dylan, Mellencamp Booked For White House's Civil Rights Music Celebration

January 26, 2010 12:00 AM ET

Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson and John Legend will perform at "In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement," which airs on PBS on February 11th. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle will host the Black History Month special from the White House's East Room. Morgan Freeman and Queen Latifah will emcee the event, which will also feature performances by Seal, Natalie Cole, the Blind Boys of Alabama and more artists to be announced soon.

Past "In Performance at the White House" specials have featured Aretha Franklin, Merle Haggard and Stevie Wonder, President Obama's "musical hero" and the first to be honored by an "In Performance" during Obama's presidency. As Rolling Stone reported last month, President Obama was on hand to witness the Kennedy Center Honors' tribute to Bruce Springsteen. Eddie Vedder, Sting, Melissa Etheridge and Ben Harper all performed E Street classics at the Kennedy Honors.

Related Stories:
Bruce Springsteen Honored at Kennedy Center By Mellencamp, Vedder, Sting
Eddie Vedder, Jon Stewart Pay Tribute to Bruce Springsteen at the Kennedy Center Honors
Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind And Fire to Rock the White House

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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